tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 15, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
and those commy democrats in congress have raised taxes so much. since they took over, our taxes have just gone through the roof. we've had all we can stands and we can't stands no more. >> i would like to say a special thank you to the three who did the most to make this possible for all of us to get together. and, of course, i'm thinking of harry reid and nancy pelosi and barack obama. >> this income tax system is badly broken, badly corrupted, benefits washington at our expense. >> okay, so there are two things that happened right around tax day every year. one, people get mad and protest about their taxes getting jacked up to liberty infringing levels. and, two, people who track this stuff tell us in quantitative factual terms what's actually going on with our level of taxation right now.
and this year the distance between those two things has never been greater. the rain on the tax revolt parade started early, quote, americans paying less taxes this year despite tax day rhetoric. less taxes? what about the revolt? as the ap notes, quote, congress cut individual's federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion, shortly after president barack obama took office. it is an inconvenient fact for all of the tax day protesters today, but taxes have actually gone down. quite a bit. under barack obama. the nonpartisan center for budget and policy priorities yesterday said thanks to obama tax cuts, a family of four in the exact middle income tax spectrum is paying the second-lowest in any year to 1955 which is as far was ak the
statistics go. in terms of not just income taxes but all taxes, including social security and everything, middle income families are at or near their lowest level in deck aids. but if you want to still feel angry about it anyway and be mad at obama over taxes, it's okay. just ee moat. let it all out. congressman kingston, you want to take it from here? >> i just talked to a friend of mine, a friend of mine that's a liberal, and he says don't these people realize that 95% of you got a tax cut under the stimulus plan of president obama? and i'm saying, if you believe that, then you believe the health care bill is going to give you better health care. >> now, i love stuff like this. because whether or not 95% of people, as he said, got a tax cut from the stimulus, it isn't a subjective thing.
it isn't a matter of opinion. it's not something you can choose to believe or not choose to believe. this is one of those knowable facts. assuming most of the folks in the crowd there work for a living, 95% of them really did get a tax cut under the stimulus plan. it's a fact. here's the ap again, quote, the massive economic recovery package enacted last year included about $300 billion in tax cuts over ten years, about $232 billion was in cuts for individuals. i understand it might feel good to say that obama's raising your taxes and isn't he just some awful commy tax and spend liberal. i know that might feel good to say. i know congressman kingston, for example, that it might be fun to tell your liberal friend that he's stupid for believing that stimulus included tax cuts. but for those who are interested in them, there are knowable facts here. the average tax refund is up nearly 10% this year. more than 95% of people did get a tax cut in the stimulus.
taxes went down for almost every single american this past year. largely as a result of 25 separate tax cuts passed by president obama over the last year. there they are. all 25 of them. tax credits if you work, tax credits if you don't work, tax credits if you buy a house, tax credits if you make that house energy efficient, tax credits if you buy a car, tax credits if you buy an electric car. the list goes on and on and on and on. i'm sure it feels great to rail against president obama and democrats for raising your taxes through the roof this year. you know it also feels really good to close your eyes and imagine you can fly. say that you can fly. you can't really fly. joining us now is ezra klein, who i have to say i cannot verify he can fly, he can do most other things. nice to see you. >> good evening. guess how i got here?
>> far be it for me, you and jack kingston. one of the things that has gained a lot of traction among the i hate paying taxes crowds that gathered today around the country is this idea that half of the country doesn't pay any taxes at all. 47% of people are free loaders, they don't pay any taxes. can you explain where that number came from and what it really means? >> right. there are two separate dodges in that number. one is it's a number about federal income tax. so that is one of about four or five taxes most of us pay, and it's interesting, because it shows sort of the class bias of this conversation. for people that make a fair amount of money, congressmen for instance, we primarily pay federal income tax. that is the big hit for us. but three quarters of americans pay more pay roll tax than they pay income tax. then there's state and local taxes beyond that. so if you add everything together, actually the tax code looks a lot less progressive. most people pay the same amount as a share of their income. but if you just look at federal income tax, if you just look at income tax it looks like poor
people are paying less. the second piece is that we run a lot of social policy through the tax code. so for poorer folks the earned income tax credit or for rich folks the first time home buyers tax credit, both of those wipe out your tax liability instead of the government sentding you a check, what happens is it's cal cue latd on your taxes. if you owed 5,000 bucks and the new home buyers tax credit is 8,000, the government wipes out the 5,000 and gives you $3,000 but not zero income taxes. if you have a problem, your problem is with the new home buyers tax credit, not the tax code. >> so the political impact that they're going for there is if you feel like you're paying taxes, you are in the minority and everybody else is free loading off of you. that's obviously the sort of political impact there. but isn't there also sort of a little political paradox here with these anti-tax crowds railing about americans paying too little in tax?
>> there's a bit of that. and one place you saw it i think was a cbs/"new york times" poll today. they found 62% of americans found what they paid this year was pretty much fair. 52% of tea partiers think the same. what you get into is americans think the taxes other people pay aren't fair. the rich are paying too little, the poor are paying too little, they are the beleaguered one. to some degree you can argue back and forth on that. you can argue we give too much in social spending to the poor, you can argue with the bush tax cuts and everything else stopped taxing the rich or corporations to the degree we should. but the funny thing is, that most people, even tea partiers, think that their taxes are pretty much acceptable. >> where are, just for context here briefly, where are tax rates now as compared to, say, the reagan era? that struck me today, how often reagan was invoked as sort of a low taxes god to the crowds here. >> reagan was a menace when it cam from taxes.
he brought taxes quite a bit down in his first year, raised them for a number of years after that, but his taxes were a lot higher than they are now, which is part of why we see the deficits we do now. it's a big part of the reason why. it's part of the problem, when people say they want a lower tax burden and then the next week the tea party protests the high deficit, then you hear the republicans saying we will not ever let democrats touch medicare, social security or anything else, you scratch your head and say, well, what pony is going to come in with all the money we need to make all this work together? and as of yet, there's been no pony. >> the simultaneous existence of all those arguments is the one silver lining around not funding math education. ezra klein, staff writer for "the washington post," thank you for your time tonight, ezra. >> thank you. so how much have you geeked out so far today on the videos of the icelandic volcano that's in the glacier? not only are the pictures jaw
dropping but about every fact in there is in the hall of fame of interesting things. so please stay tuned to hear some of those. and later, tax day cocktails. because frankly we here at "the rachel maddow show" believe you have earned something tastier than tea. ♪ well, look who's here. it's ellen. hey, mayor white. how you doing? great. come on in. would you like to see our new police department? yeah, all right. this way. and here it is. completely networked. so, anything happening, suz? she's all good. oh, my gosh. is that my car? [ whirring ] [ female announcer ] the new community. see it. live it. share it. on the human network. cisco. he's trying to beat my record. 61 dishes, and a garlic press. oh, that's too full! those will never get clean. they got clean when i broke the record. never gonna happen! [ chuckles ] sorry, buddy. [ female announcer ] cascade actionpacs are four times concentrated to get the fullest loads clean the first time.
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koch centuries want you to know they didn't have anything to do with all those tea parties today. it is of course an oil and ch chemical country. nobody asked koch centuindustri they were involved, but they announced on the occasion of the tax day tea parties they are not with them there tea parties. the folks at talking points memo rorltded today they got an unsolicited e-mail lasted night from a koch industry pokes person, because you have covered tea parties in the past and we imagine you will cover tomorrow's tax day tea party in d.c., we want to reiterate important facts. no funding has been provided by koch companies, the koch foundations, specifically to the support of the tea parties.
denial of the koch family strike you as a little weird? suspicious? here's why. the one-degree of separation between koch industries. as can you see, david koch is the chairman of the board for the foundation. he founded americans for prosperity and koch gave them more than 5 million smackaroos, let's look around this website for this organization that was founded in part by koch industry guys who have nothing to do with the tea -- well, well, look at that. afp is your tea party central on tax day. it certainly looks to be true, the americans for prosperity home page is chockful of pictures and articles and blog entries all about the tea parties. if you check out april 15th on
the americans for prosperity events calendar, you'll find information on what they call afp tea parties in seven states. want to see a list of tax day tea parties all over the country? well, americans for prosperity is the place to go for that. if you're looking for a tea party in north carolina, the state chapter of americans for prosperity directs you to another website. same goes for the maryland chapter of americans for prosperity. click the box that says, ready for a tea party? and you're taken to maryla marylandtaxdayteaparty.com, complete with the logo. and the new hampshire chapter is proud of the tea parties there. americans for prosperity is not trying to hide its role in the organizationing tea parties. the missouri chapter has already posted video of local news coverage of its tax day tea party. and the oregon and wisconsin chapters have posted slide
shows. so david koch, founder for americans for prosperity wants you to know he's not at all funding the tea party movement. except for that part where he totally funds the tea party movement. but other than that, he just wants to get the facts clear. there was also lots of cred list coverage of contract for america unveiled by -- who was this unveiled by again? oh, the american people. god, i totally don't remember signing that. but look, that's my signature and yours too. see, it's in cursive so it must be official. the contract from america is being seen as a second generation of newt gingrich's contract with american, released with the 1994 republican takeover of congress. see, only this one, this one, though, is signed by the american people. but if you look above the american people's signature, there are some other names that are not in cursive. looks like the contract from
america was brought to you not just by the american people, but by some organizations as well, like, say, freedomworks. so when they say, signed by the american people, they actually mean signed by legendary dick armey and the heartland institute. they also mean by a conservative think tank that's reportedly been funded in the past by exxon and philip morris and surprise, surprise, the charles koch charitable foundation. so happy tax day tea protests, everybody, and congratulations on the contract from america. i will admit a lot of these events looked like a lot of fun. i sincerely hope people got their i hate taxes ya yas out today. but please don't try to rope the rest of us into your parties. claiming to speak for the american people is a tall order any day.
british airways is flying from indonesia to perth when the pilot says this, exact quote, ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. we have a small problem. all four engines have stopped. we're doing our damneddest to get it under control. no worries, right? when the captain made that remarkably calm announcement to the 260 people on board his plane, the plane was 37,000 feet in the air. with no engines. captain moody glided the plane down 24,000 feet in total silence. remember, no engines. finally at 13,000 feet he was able to get one of the engines restarted. at the last minute he got three of the four engines restarted and got that plane down safely. he's the british sully, in other words. once that plane was on the ground it got even weirder. there was an acrid sulfury smoke
in the cabin no one could explain and the windshield of the plane was completely opaque like it was sandblasted. all the flight crew had been able to see through the whole thing was a bizarre loomenous glowing around the plane. that incident that happened in 1982 is why we have rules about not flying through clouds of ash from kvolcanos. a volcano erupted, the plane went through the ash clouds. they're dry, so they don't show up. but the particulate matter in the sill kits from that volcanic cloud locked up the jet engines. the rules are, to keep 120 nautical miles away from ash. good to have these rules. but the seven-mile long plume of ash that has come out of this volcano that has erupted in iceland is so huge, and winds are spreading that ash so far
that all flights in and out of britain are canceled. at least until noon local time tomorrow. something that has never happened in living memory. airports in ireland, holland, denmark, norway, sweden, belgium, france and germany have all canceled flights, making this the biggest disruption to airlines since 9/11 by far. the current eruption happened under a glacier, causing floodwaters that forced hundreds of icelanders to have to evacuate. one weird fact about this, though, even though iceland is right in the middle of all this, the eruption is happening in iceland, the eruption is not affecting flights in and out of iceland itself. you can blame prevailing northwesterly winds that are slowly blowing this ash plume all the way across europe. no one knows when the weather might shift to allow planes back in the air. no one knows how long this volcano is going to continue to erupt. i don't want to be a debbie downer or anything, but the last time the volcano erupted in 192
1rks it kept erupting for more than a year. i'm joined now by tina neal with the u.s. geological survey, she joins us tonight from anchorage. thank you very much for being here. appreciate your time. >> happy to be here. >> does the giant size of the plume of ash from this particular volcano have anything to do with the fact that it is under a glacier? do we know what explains why the plume is so big? >> well, you are correct, the fact that this eruption occurred under an ice cap added to the explosivety of the event, so that did produce a large volume of fine particulate material which is drifting across europe. but as you point out, as eruptions go around the planet, this is not one of the largest ones. this ash cloud is not bigger than ash clouds we saw from alaska just a couple of years ago. it's just that it's so close to a populated area with air travel that it's making such a disruption. >> and what is in that plume of
ash that makes it so damaging to aircraft? what's -- what's in that, what looks like a cloud, but we know isn't? >> right. volcanic ash clouds are mixtures of fragments of lava, crystal and volcanic glass along with volcanic gases. they are hot when they erupt, they travel high into the atmosphere and then are carried with the prevailing winds. but it's the sal id particulate matter dangerous to aircraft. they can suffer abrasions, as you described, but more severely if enough ash is ingested into the engines they can actually quit. it's the ash interfering with the operation of the jet engine. >> in 1783, i spent a long time reading about this today, so forgive me. but sfarls i understand it, poisonous ash from an eruption at a different volcano in iceland apparently damaged crops and caused damage to such an extent that it's blamed for killing thousands of people in europe. again, back in the 1700s. other major eruptions have been
said to change the climate at least for short periods of time. how do you know whether a volcano is going to cause long-term regional or even global effects? what's the most important thing to know whether it will be that severe? >> those eruptions were quite unusual, they were long-lived, went on for more than a year and erupted vol luminous quantities of ash. this is much, much smaller, than those eruptions. the most important parameter is really the duration of the eruption and how much lava and ash are emitted. >> is there any way to predict what the duration of this eruption will be and in more practical terms when planes might be flying again in europe? >> well, it's not a certainty, but can you look at the past eruptions of this volcano and that's a good guide to what they'll probably do in the future. the past few eruptions of this particular volcano have lasted months to little more than a year, but they've really ee
result erupted less than a cubic kilometer. mount st. helens was a tenth of that size. but they're monitoring it with a va rye at the of instruments. if it were to intensify or grow much larger or give signs it were going to intensify and grow much larger, they should see some signals of that. >> one last question for you just about your own experience. i know you've flown in planes around active value cane knows to view ash and gas plumes from volcanos when they're going off. we've got footage from the eruption in alaska in 2008. how hard is it to monitor a volcano in the air when the ash is so damaging to aircraft? >> right. well, you have to keep a safe distance and your aerial observations are giving you visual information about what's going on so you can interpret firsthand the process. but it's very important to have instruments on the ground
detecting earthquakes, tracking the depths of earthquakes, measuring the volcano changing shape and moving as mag ma is moving underground. and it's important to use satellite technology to look down on these ash clouds from space to see which way they're traveling. you really need a variety of monitoring techniques, in addition to aerial observations from aircraft at a safe distance. tina neal, you have a really cool job and it was cool of you to join us at a busy time. thank you so much. >> you're welcome. so today was the day that the anti-health reform faith healer who we introduced you to on monday and the virginia attorney general and the guy who hands out proud right wing extremist i.d. cards all got together at jerry falwell's school, and boy, was it a hoot. after that we may have stumbled on the better way to celebrate tax day, a cliffhanger about
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it's happened a couple of times in the past year that we have covered on the show. one of the really strange things about that very strange anyway footage is that the japanese ship ramming into the activists is prominently labeled research. it's a reminder that that's how japan has been getting around the international ban on hunting whales. since 1986 it's been illegal to hunt whales internationally. one exception is you can keep killing a certain number of whales if you're doing it as part of a legitimate study of whales. activists have said they're whaling because they think whale is tasty. international brink of extinction claims be darned. well, today, the you're not studying them, you're eating them allegation got significantly stronger. you might recall a recent controversy about a sushi restaurant in santa monica, california, getting caught for selling whale meat. the restaurant apologized and
shut down. the owner was charged with illegal sale of a marine mammal product. now a dna analysis to find out where the illegal whale meat they were selling came from, the analysis is published in the latest issue of the scientific journal "biology letters," and wouldn't you know, turns out that illegal whale meat came from a sei whale, s-e-i, in the research program that apparently scientifically researches whale meat on to the black market to be sold for food. here's how karma works. pretending to be a fake researcher is begging the universe to send a real researcher to ruin your day, or your illegal mammal hunt or whatever. [ advisor 2 ] oh gee, i'm scared to tell you i've got this amount of credit card debt or i've got a 15-year-old and we never got around to saving for their college.
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so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro. being the republican in charge of trying to stop wall street reform is not turning out to be fun. >> how do you push back against
this perception, reporting you guys met with hedge fund managers in new york, a lot of people are viewing this bailout argument -- >> you can talk to community bankers in kentucky. >> i'm not asking you about the community. >> but i'm telling but the community bankers in kentucky. >> testy. senator mitch mcconnell has been testy for being called out for meeting with hedge fund managers begging for campaign donations at the same time he was promising them he would kill wall street reform. the way he's trying to kill wall street reform is getting unflattering attention, it bans tax bailouts for banks but mcconnell has been caught claiming just the opposite. i don't know if senator mcconnell particularly gets called out for lying on this show like we did last night, but i bet he really does care when he gets called out for lying and raked over the coals for it by his hometown newspaper in kentucky, "the lexington herald
leader." the resemblance to the truth is another matter, mcconnell is trashing the other side's ideas with no respect for the truth. mcconnell's calculus is pretty obvious, the high staked gamblers on wall street don't want any new oversight or regulation. they're happy to scratch their backs if they'll scratch his. ow, ow, ow. ow. and the startup-capital- for-barbers business. and the this-won't- hurt-a-bit business. because we don't just work here. we live here. these are our families. and our neighbors. and by changing lives we're in more than the energy business we're in the human energy business. chevron.
the interview on yesterday's show was janet napolitano, secretary of homeland security. it was a year ago that the radicalism branch of the intelligence part of her department put out a report on right wing extremism. they also did one on left wing extremist, but known noticed that, they ignored the left wing report and demanded apologies for the right wing one. they started even proudly calling themselves not just extremists, but even terrorists. >> i want to say that i'm a proud right wing terrorist. >> big applause. that man was speaking at an event with republican california congressman, quote, amen, god bless you, there's a great american. >> amen, god bless you. there's a great american. >> liberty council which is affiliated with jerry falwell's
liberty university started marketing i'm proud to be a right wing extremist i.d. card they encourage people to carry in their wallet. i'm proud to be a right wing extremist. this group is hosting an event called the freedom federation tonight and tomorrow. a number of the speeches at that event have a revolution theme. among the speakers is the faith healer who we introduced you to on monday's show. i won't play sound of her, because we heard from a lot of people who found her too upsetting to hear. another is lou engel who we have covered at some length on this show. here's mr. engel waxing poetic at a martyrdom event. >> give me the grace, fasting, 12 hours of prayer. days are coming when we're going to have to risk our lives to stand for truth in this society. say, lift your voices, say, mark
me now. mark me as a man and woman of the cross of jesus christ. >> so great is the need on martyrdom on the issue of abortion according to the pastor, it may be cause for a second american civil war. >> 600,000 men died on the battlefields of america, and if god required it for slavery, what will it mean if god requires it for america for the blood shed of 50 million babies? >> yeah, can't we just please get some blood shed on the abortion debate in this country, people? can't we? so today is the proud right wingest extremist i.d. cards, their head line speaker is the attorney general of virginia, capping off a busy week for him. his last event was speaking on a march on the state capitol in
richard and then at this tea party event alongside this speaker. >> at times you're going to have to stand against the tide. i had to do that in 2007. we had about 80% of the general assembly voted for a statute that set up tax authorities. i stood up on the floor and said, folks, our forefathers were shooting people like you. >> virginia republican lawmaker bob marshall speaking at an event with that state's attorney general. americans have a long history of being bombastic, hyperbolic even in our opposition to the other side in politics. we're not a country that's ever wanted or needed to put bumpers in the lanes to try to make our discourse polite or boring. we are excitable people, we get excited about politics, we use over the top language. we can do all that without
threatening violence against americans whom we disagree. without threatening violence, without threatening that people on the other side of a debate in a state legislator now are -- the same as people we are glad who were shot in the civil war. without threatening that our next peaceful march will actually be an armed insurgency. elected officials in institutions that say those things and celebrate extremism as if it's something to be proud of have recent history to grapple with. this coming monday we're airing a documentary about the worst incidents, the bombing of the federal office building in oklahoma city 15 years ago by timothy mcveigh. here's a brief preview of that documentary. the images are computer simulations, the voice is actually his, recorded in prison in tapes never before been broadcast. here he explains why he chose the specific date of april 19th for the bombing.
>> the two most significant events in history occurred on april 19th, to me, was not just one, waco, but number two was the shot heard around the world, april 19th, 1775. the spark that started the american revolution. >> so that was another grandiose way of saying, how important his actions are to those in the world. compared to everyone else's. his actions mark him a place in history. he matters. >> people have compared oklahoma city to pearl harbor. as far as the impact of the psyche on the american people, that it was a surprise, a shock to the nation and all that. one of the chief intentions of it was the same as dropping the bomb on hiroshima. >> what was that? >> to hit them hard, by surprise, and heavily. you know, say, listen, if you don't knock it off, there's more of this to come. >> "the mcveigh tapes" airs this
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it's tax day. sorry. your local post office may be open until midnight. have you turned your taxes in? do you feel like you want to talk about cocktails? as a salute to the paying of tax day i have a cocktail and really good story about cocktails for you. okay. you ready? here's how you make a champagne cocktail. it's very, very simple. champagne flute, sugar cube. soak the sugar cube. don't be afraid. you'll be fine. depends on the size of your sugar cube.
there you go. do that, pop open your champagne. it's not difficult at all. one, two, three, four, five, six, always six turns there. remove the cage. open the bottle by twisting the bottle, not the cork. right? hold at an angle so it doesn't foam out the end and you get lots of air in there and it's fine and this is it. this is your champagne cocktail. it's a soaked sugar cube topped with champagne. some people put a lemon twist on the top. some people put in a dash of cogn cognac. those people are wrong. i'm sure they're nice people, actually, probably not, they're probably bad people. ignore them. there's your champagne cocktail. this is a manhattan. manhattan you make in what we martini glass. you don't only make martinis in them. manhattan, i like mine old school style, three to one rye
whiskey. make it in a shaker, although you don't shake it. it's the cartoon liquor pouring noise. one, two, three. rye whiskey. then sweet -- comes in a different kinds. broadly speaking red and white. white is dry, wed is sweet. not everybody makes their manhattans with that much. some people make them with less. again, those people are wrong. and you want to add a good -- like, i do like five dashes. one, two, three, four, five. then you stir it up. you don't shake it because it doesn't have any citrus or egg white or dairy or anything in it so you want your drink to be nice and cold but you also want it to be sort of clear. so that's what you stir for. if i weren't as nervous to be doing this on television as i am you wouldn't hear the ice
clattering around in the shaker because i'd be so good at it. i'm a little nervous because you guys are watching. and a manhattan technically has a cherry in it as the garnish. people who put a cherry in their manhattan as a garnish are not wrong, but they're also wasting room that could hold liquor. in the glass. the common demnominator -- the label doesn't fit. that's the story. you can't have a cocktail without bitters. the word cocktail at its core means booze, sugar, water and bitters, that's what a cocktail was. cocktail has become a million other things. really betters is core. back on st. patrick's day of this year i needed bitters to make a cocktail we made here on set. i keep my bar in massachusetts, not in new york.
my producers couldn't tap my personal supply. they called every liquor store in new york city to find a bottle and nobody had any for sale. we had to bogart a really old bottle of bitters out of producer tina's personal stash in brooklyn. another reason to thank god for producer, tina. here's the question, why are there no bitters in all of manhattan? for a very few bad months starting, like, last september maybe there was what at least felt like a worldwide bitters shortage. that led bar and distributors to ration what they had, led the lucky few cocktail -- a few minutes after drinking tina's bitters, here in our offices got an amazing package, boxes full of bitters. straight from the company. the shortage is over. at least in my office. and that leads me to what i'm
celebrating with these cocktails tonight. the return of bitters. shortage is apparently over sort of. here to tell us what the heck happened, genevieve, executive manager of export sales and business development, and jazel, who is communications manager. it's really nice to meet you guys. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you for having us. >> i'm darking out about bitters if front of you. i realize this is your business so you probably see this all the time, but what happened when we couldn't get bitters in this country for such a long time? >> we had a problem with the supply of the bottles -- >> the bottles -- >> not the liquid. the bottles. and at the same time the bottles were short. the demand for bitters was just rising, cocktail drinkers everywhere, you know? so -- >> and so the bottle's problem has been solved. >> it has been solved.
>> was is solved for some dramatic cloak and dagger superman means or just got a new supplier? >> another supplier. >> okay. when bitters were unavailable on the market in the united states for those few months, what did you guys at the company hear in terms of the reaction? because i will tell you it changed my life. the bitters -- the bitters pannish just among my family and friends was palpable and real. there was a lot of late-night ebay forging. how did you experience that in terms of the company? >> just our staff, alone, went crazy hearing -- they were hearing from friends and family abroad saying they can't get bitters, what are you doing down there? i was getting e-mails every day asking what happened to the bitters. can't find it anywhere. constantly replying to them. people were asking is the place burned down, is it out of business? we had to let them know that
hey, we're not out of business, we've been producing bitters all along then we have to explain, of course, there was a bottle shortage. >> when you had the bottle shortage did you consider continuing to make the liquid gold, continuing to make actually bitters. you kept making it. did you consider licensing somebody else to bottle it? call it something else? no? no? how long has the company existed, and how secret is the formula? >> since 1824. >> 1824. >> almost 200 years. >> wow. >> and it's very secret. >> do you guys know what it is? >> no. four people in the entire -- >> it's not like you know half of it and you know half of it. >> i wish. >> it terms of the formula, it's been the same for nearly 200 years. >> it has been. >> i guess the people who distill it know it. >> we can't tell you that. >> it's a secret. >> all we know that five people know. >> tell me -- people who rp
wondering what's in this bottle they have in the back of their cabinet they never thought about before, what's generally the most important thing to know about this bottle? >> spices. >> secret formula. >> people who still can't get bitters at their local liquor store, it's going to get better? the distribution is in effect. >> it will. >> the company is important to the economy of trinidad. >> it is. it's an icon. it's been around for so long. that's what everybody knows. because we make rum as well it's a company that people value. and i think this has done a great deal for us, actually understanding how much people really appreciate bitters. >> sometimes it takes breaking up to realize how in love you were. that's the thing because -- genevieve and jazel are both with the company in trinidad. thank you so much for the hooch and thank you so much for being -- it's nice to meet you both. >> same here. >> they were here the other day. we have recipes for how to make
a champagne cocktail on our blog. "countdown with keith olbermann" starts right now. have a great night. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? tax day and the tea party collide in washington, d.c. >> thanks for coming to the city to help us do the lord's work. >> we're on to them. we're on to this gangster government. >> will they ever be on to the truth? americans paid less of their income in taxes than any time when george w. bush was president. tonight, the disconnect between rhetoric and reality, and a fascinating poll explains who exactly makes up the tea party. president obama goes to nasa to answer his critics. >> nobody is more committed
demand space flight, human exploration of space than i am. >> the president says forget the moon, it's time to aim for mars. buzz aldrin, the man who dances with the star, joins us to talk flying to the stars. the west virginia mine tragedy. the president says no death toll is acceptable for running unsafe mines and says the government will stand on the side of the miners. >> we owe them more than prayers. we owe them action. we owe them accountability. >> the mine owners say the president doesn't know what he's talking about. and an eruption leads to disruption for millions of european travelers. a gigantic cloud of ash grounds much of europe's aircraft. when will the volcano stop? and what if an even bigger eruption happens? all that and more now on "countdown."